Route & General Observations
Skinned up SW aspect of Lipps to 3200′. No obvious signs of instability were observed. Snow was surprisingly protected from the winds this week and still soft in many places. Found pretty stable snow in three test pits, with the exception of a 6″ wind slab that failed on isolation in compression test.
Some small localize cracking along skin track on 1-2" wind hardened snow. No shooting cracks.
Two small piles of debris were seen on N facing slope of Pete's North - likely natural wind slabs triggered earlier in the week, crowns were filled in.
Clear skies and sunny
Temps were in the single digits to 20's F at the road in the afternoon.
South wind to 10-15mph in the am, becoming light by mid afternoon. West wind on ridge top.
Variable - patches of wind hardened snow (1-6" thick) and large areas of 3-4" settled near surface facets
A sun crust was found on a steep Southern feature at 1800'
Dug three pits and found pretty stable snow in all locations with the exception of a 6" wind slab in one test pit.
Pit#1 - 2500' WNW aspect, 34 degree slope, HS=110cm, CTNx2 - Snow was right side up (Pencil to 1Finger to 4Finger.) .5-1mm near surface facets were found in the top 4" of surface snow.
Pit#2 - 2500' SSW aspect, 31 degree slope, HS=130cm - CTV, CT1- failed 15cm down on .5-1mm near surface facets. No other weak layers failed in tests. We did note that the bottom 30cm of the snowpack was 1F hard rounding facets and large melt/freeze grains.
Pit#3 - 3100' SSW aspect, 30 degrees, HS= 205cm - only dug 100cm deep. CT20, ECTN28 failed 45cm below surface on a density change (stellar fragments)
CT23, failed 62cm below surface on Feb.9 buried surface hoar. The surface hoar was 6-7mm, laying down and hard to see in pit wall. This layer did not fail in Extended Column test, even after kung Fu kick.